Throwing Black Women's Voices from the Global South into an Appalachian Classroom

by Hughes-Tafen, Denise C.

Abstract (Summary)
This research uses theater of Black women from the Global South as a way of creating spaces in the classroom for dialogue between self and others. It examines and interrogates the relations White students from Appalachia Ohio and Black students from an urban center in Ohio make between their lives and the lives of these Black women from the Global South, as well as those viewed as the "other" in their own societies. This research is best described as a performative inquiry. It is a classroom action research and was conducted over a period of six weeks. Participant observation, interviews and artifact collection were the main means of data collection. Twenty five students from the Upward Bound program at Ohio University participated in this study. During the process of reading and reenacting the plays of Black women from the Global South and then finally creating their own play, participants reacted by displaying resistance, surprise, confusion, defensiveness and by joking around. Students showed their attempt to form dialogic relations though interactions with self, others in the class and the characters of the play. This theme emerged through students' representation of others, of themselves, expressions of identity (womanhood, Americanism) and through their physical interaction with other members in the class and the characters of the plays. As they moved through the process of reading and finally staging the plays, issues of Whiteness, race, injustice, conflict and discomfort emerged. The results of the research suggest that although Whiteness seems to have some impact, the prospect of forming relations with others outside the U.S. goes beyond Whiteness. On creating relations outside the U.S. the barrier seems to be more directly related to power. My research findings indicate that while race is a barrier domestically, within the global framework Americanism or Americocentricity, plays a more significant role.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:black women global south theater appalachia dialogue dialogic relations


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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